The Space Under the Window

By Kristin Looney

Cathy has never been able to make up her mind on the moving thing. In some ways she loves it. The excitement. The change. The hard physical work. Somehow satisfying - so different from her normal desk job. But right now the excitement is gone. The whole moving thing has lost some of its charm. Why is she feeling this way? It has been a great day. The new house is amazing. The move has gone well. Yet Cathy finds herself wandering around the house. Picking her way through the boxes. Not really looking for anything, just not knowing what else to do. Jack has passed out on the couch from the sheer exhaustion of the day. She wishes he would wake up so she would have something to do.

With the flick of a light switch on the wall, Cathy creates a warm cozy fire in her new bedroom. This was the feature that had really sold them on the house. The fire is beautiful. Even though she just turned it on, she can already feel the warmth. But the thing she notices most is how quiet it is. Not a single crackle. Cathy looks around the room, trying not to be sad and lonely. She knows it is a silly feeling. She wishes she had something to fill the silence. The room is filled with boxes, including the 35" TV they had bought each other for Xmas last year. Cathy sits listening to the silence, staring at the cable ready TV in its gigantic box, wishing they hadn't been quite so flippant about throwing away the old fashioned antenna that they thought they would never need.

Cathy sits in the silence and slowly brings an image crisp in her mind. The second day they had looked at the house, just before they signed the contract, they had explored the attic above the master bedroom. They excitedly talked about the possibility of remodeling it someday, the idea of turning it into an extra guest room. Up in the back corner they had found an old black and white TV set. It had stuck in Cathy's memory since it had looked very much like the first TV she had gotten of her very own in her room when she was a kid. It was much smaller than the family room set and had a built-in handle in the side of the case. Unlike her childhood set, the one they found in the attic had a nice set of rabbit ears bolted onto the side of the unit. Cathy held her breath, hoping the Carters had been lazy when they moved, and pulled down the attic stairs in the corner hallway outside the bedroom. She climbed the stairs and peered into the moonlit attic. Cathy smiled.

Propped up on boxes, with the window open and the rabbit ears adjusted just right... Cathy curls up in the space under the window of her new bedroom. The warmth of the fire takes the edge off the cool spring breeze, and after only 5 minutes of a fuzzy black and white rendition of the middle of some movie she has never heard of, Cathy falls asleep. Her dreams are filled with the happy thoughts of moving.

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